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Retailers Should Think Twice Before Advertising Comparison Pricing said it would appeal the tentative ruling of a California trial court which prohibits the company from comparison price advertising unless done in conformity with court-mandated practices, which says diverge widely from industry standards.

The problem for began in 2010 when a group of district attorneys in California sued the online retailer, accusing it of overstating its deals and misleading consumers, according to this CNN Money report.

The article cited an example of a patio set advertised for $449.99 and claiming that the list price for the set was $999. “But the furniture arrived with a Wal-Mart sticker showing the price to be $247.”

Sponsored Link General Counsel Mark Griffin told ABC News that the manufacturer had given its retail price, and unbeknownst to it, “another manufacturer sold the price elsewhere.”

In a press statement President Stormy Simon called the ruling unjust but said the company would follow the ruling. She said the effect of that ruling would be small because they were “already fanatic about getting this right.” She also said if the tentative ruling becomes final, the company will file an appeal “as soon as possible.” said the court’s ruling would require more elaborate price comparison disclosures on individual product website pages, depending on the type of comparison made.

It’s not clear how the ruling will impact other retailers.

“Assuming that other retailers will have to follow the same rules as, traditional retail stores will have to make lengthy disclosures on paper price tags disclosing their methods of price comparisons,” wrote in its statement.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to

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